Ascending and Descending Projections of the Lateral Vestibular Nucleus in the Rat
The tracer neurobiotin was injected into the lateral vestibular nucleus in rat and the efferent fiber connections of the nucleus were studied. The labeled fibers reached the diencephalon rostrally and the sacral segments of the spinal cord caudally. In the diencephalon, the ventral posteromedial and the gustatory nuclei received the most numerous labeled fibers. In the mesencephalon, the inferior colliculus, the interstitial nucleus of Cajal, the nucleus of Darkschewitch, the periaqueductal gray matter and the red nucleus received large numbers of labeled fibers. In the rhombencephalon, commissural and internuclear connections originated from the lateral vestibular nucleus to all other vestibular nuclei. The medioventral (motor) part of the reticular formation was richly supplied, whereas fewer fibers were seen in the lateral (vegetative) part. In the spinal cord, the descending fibers were densely packed in the anterior funiculus and in the ventral part of the lateral funiculus. Collaterals invaded the entire gray matter from lamina IX up to lamina III; the fibers and terminals were most numerous in laminae VII and VIII. Collateral projections were rich in the cervical and lumbosacral segments, whereas they were relatively poor in the thoracic segments of the spinal cord. It was concluded that the fiber projection in the rostral direction was primarily aimed at sensory-motor centers; in the rhombencephalon and spinal cord, fibers projected onto structures subserving various motor functions.
KeywordsLateral vestibular nucleus rat neurobiotin labeling
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